book review, wrap up

November Wrap Up: some mini book reviews!

Happy Friday bookworms!

I’ve read a lot of wonderful books in November. I’ve already reviewed a couple of those books, so this is just going to be a wrap up of everything else I read this month but haven’t talked about yet! Let me know if you’ve read any of these books, and what you thought of them! I like having people to fangirl with. ❤


The Wonderling by Mira Bartok

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This was a cute middle grade fantasy about Arthur, a half-human/half fox boy, and his best friend, a little bird called Trinket, who go on an adventure after escaping from their grim orphanage, Miss Carbunkle’s Home for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures. This was such a fun book. It gave me Oliver Twist vibes, had some cool Steampunk elements, and the world building was brilliant. Everything felt magical, and there were more wonders to discover with every page, although there were also some dark and gloomy corners of the world which gave the book a gritty edge. The friendship between Arthur and Trinket was so heartwarming, and, along with the charming illustrations (drawn by the author herself), was probably my favourite thing about this book. My only criticism was that it was rather long for a middle grade at almost 500 pages, and it started to drag a little towards the end, but other than that, I adored this beautiful book.


Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

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I picked this book up because I was in the mood for some fluffy contemporary and I liked it, but I didn’t love it. The basic premise is that Zorie and her ex-best-friend/boyfriend Lennon get stranded together in the wilderness after a camping trip with some other friends turns into a big bust up with said friends. I really enjoyed the chemistry between Zorie and Lennon, and I liked that they both had interesting hobbies. Zorie is into astronomy, and Lennon is (luckily) into wilderness survival. I’m a sucker for the whole hate to love thing, so the tension between these two was my fave. I think the thing which prevented me from loving this book wholeheartedly was the annoying trope of ‘lack of communication’. The reason Zorie and Lennon broke up wouldn’t have been a reason at all if they’d just had a conversation, and it makes no sense that they didn’t if they mattered to each other that much. The other thing I didn’t like is that Zorie says some super mean things to one of her friends on the camping trip, and never apologises. Their friendship is just over at the end of the book, and that’s it. But grievances aside, I did enjoy the romance in this one, I liked exploring the wilderness and learning more about outdoorsy stuff like how to stay safe from bears, and I liked Lennon’s lesbian moms who own a sex shop, because they were just cute and so much fun. ❤


Vicious and Vengeful by V.E. Schwab

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I’m not the hugest fan of V.E. Schwab’s books; I always feel like something is missing. Thankfully, I felt differently about these two: I loved them! This series follows Victor and Eli, college friends (turned enemies), who decide to experiment with near death experiences in order to gain supernatural powers. The book kicks off ten years after these events with Victor escaping from prison, hellbent on revenge against Eli for putting him there. The characters in this series are so complexly constructed. It’s hard to tell who is the hero and who the villain; these characters are both morally grey. Victor and Eli want to destroy each other, and both have motivations that, though twisted, make sense. Victor is the one I was rooting for, but I couldn’t bring myself to completely hate Eli. I love all of the characters, and the dynamics between them, particularly the found-family relationship Victor has with Mike (his cellmate from prison) and Sydney, an injured girl he rescues from the side of the road. There’s something so warm and fuzzy about the way these three look out for each other as the story progresses.

I preferred Vicious to its sequel: Vicious had me completely sucked in, especially the sections set in the past, during Victor and Eli’s college days, however Vengeful was a little too slow paced and long to keep me constantly engaged. Nevertheless, I enjoyed being back with the characters, and also meeting some new anti-heroes along the way. I was not happy with the ending though. It was abrupt, and I feel like there is so much more story to tell! I hope we get another sequel.


Heartstopper Volume One by Alice Oseman

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Heartstopper is an ongoing web comic created by UKYA author Alice Oseman (whom I adore!). A bind up of the first two chapters is being published in February, but I read this on Alice’s Tumblr as I don’t have a physical copy yet. I CAN’T WAIT TO GET MY HANDS ON ONE! The story of Heartstopper follows Charlie and Nick, two characters who appear in Alice’s debut novel Solitaire, however you don’t need to have read Solitaire first in order to understand this comic. It’s a gentle boy meets boy – friends to something more – love story, with gay and bisexual rep, and it’s so engaging because the interactions between the characters are so real. It’s warm and comforting (although it does deal with some heavier topics, such as bullying, at times) and is my new favourite thing ever. The art style is very cute; Alice perfectly captures the body language of people who are crushing on each other, and it fully gave me all the butterflies of that experience. Charlie and Nick are SO adorable, and every interaction between them made me squee with joy. Nick also has an adorable dog called Nellie who made me squee with joy whenever she appeared. Basically, if you want to squee with joy, repeatedly, you need to read this. You can read the whole thing (up to the latest post) for free on Alice Oseman’s Tumblr. You are so welcome! ❤


The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

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I finally picked up The Raven Boys after having it on my shelf for about 6 years. I had tried to read it lots of times but never managed to get into it, but this time I got sucked into this weird and whimsical story. It is one of those series you have to really concentrate on, in order to get everything you can out of it. It is quite subtle, very character driven, and there are hints and allusions to things it would be easy to miss if you weren’t paying attention.The story follows Blue, Gansey, Ronan, Adam and Noah, a group of friends who are searching for the tomb of a Welsh King who is rumoured to grant a favour to the person who wakes him. It’s a story about psychics, and ley lines, and dreams, and magic, a perfect mix of things I adore. The pacing can be slow, because although there is a mysterious, fascinating plot, it almost takes a backseat to the characters and their complex friendships, but those characters are what make this story so dear to my heart.

My favourite character is Gansey; I relate so much to his burning need for there to be something *more* to life than we can see. I love his obsessive personality, and the way he fills his notebooks with frantic scribblings about his quest. My least favourite character so far is Adam. I want to like him, but he makes it so difficult. Adam is from a less privileged background than his friends, and has experienced some really difficult things, which of course make me sympathise with him, but his anger about his unhappy upbringing is often misdirected towards his friends, who are only ever trying to help him, and it really frustrates me. Ronan is supposed to be the snarky, spiteful character, and yet I find him so much more endearing than Adam. (I think this might be largely to do with how uncharacteristically sweet he is towards his pet raven, Chainsaw.) I’m reading book three now, and I am loving this series. It will definitely be one I re-read again and again in the future, as I feel there will be more to gain from it each time.

book haul

I’M BACK! With an October book haul :)

Hello lovely bookish friends, and welcome back to my blog, which has been sitting here all lonely and neglected since July(!) I’m so sorry little blog, and lovely bookish friends. I feel so bad for disappearing, but I was going through some mental health stuff, and honestly, I just needed a break. I’m still going through that stuff, but I miss blogging so much and I really want to get back into it. I’m not working at the moment (apart from babysitting), and I have been doing a lot of reading recently (interspersed with sleeping and Netflix), so I’m hoping to be posting regularly again soon.

Today I thought I’d share with you a book haul, because it’s been a billion years since I did one of those (I’m pretty sure I haven’t even done one in 2018!) Here are some of the books I’ve picked up in the last month (with mini reviews of the ones I have already read!)


American Panda by Gloria Chao

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I’ve been wanting to increase my collection of light-hearted YA contemporary books, because I have so many dark books on my shelves, and when I’m feeling down, I never want to reach for them, because they just make me feel worse. This book sounds like it will be the perfect heartwarming pick me up. It’s about Mei Lu, a Taiwanese American girl who has enrolled in college early at the age of 17, but isn’t sure she really wants the future she’s working so hard towards. It’s all about family and identity (and romance!) and it’s supposed to be funny and sweet, so I am all about that, and I can’t wait to read it.


Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson

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I’ve heard a lot of people talking about this novel on Booktube and it sounds so much fun. It’s about a Wiccan girl named Mila who attempts to raise her friend Riley from the dead to find out who murdered her. It’s meant to be quirky, funny, witchy, diverse and generally a blast, so I’m really excited to get to this one! Also I am obsessed with this cover.


Everyone’s an aliebn when you’re an aliebn too by Jonny Sun

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This is the sweetest, most adorable, most delightful graphic novel I have ever read. It’s about an alien who comes to earth to learn about humans, and it follows his interactions with all the different creatures he meets along the way. It’s so PURE. The illustrations are SO CUTE. The alien is so curious, and confused, and bad at spelling, and you will want to give him the biggest, squishiest hug. Basically this book will warm your heart and soul and you must, must read it.


Pages & Co: Tilly and the Book Wanderers by Anna James

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This is a middle grade novel about a girl named Tilly who discovers she has the ability to travel into the worlds of her favourite books. It all kicks off when Anne of Green Gables and Alice (of Wonderland) turn up in Pages & Co, the bookshop Tilly’s grandparents own. It sounds so magical and charming and I’m really excited to pick this up. I think it will be the perfect cosy read to snuggle up with as the days get colder.


Sawkill Girls by Clare Legrand

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I don’t know a lot about this book, but I know it’s set on an island, there is some kind of monster at large, and girls are disappearing. It’s meant to be very atmospheric and spooky, and I’ve been dying to read it ever since I heard about it, because I LOVE books set on islands.


Happily Ever Esther by Steve Jenkins, Derek Walter and Caprice Crane

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I recently read this one and absolutely adored it! Esther the Wonderpig, if you haven’t heard of her, is quite an internet-famous pig. Her dads, Derek and Steve, got her when she was a tiny piglet and were told she was a micropig, but there was nothing *micro* about Esther, and she grew into the 600 pound commercial pig she was always meant to be. Derek and Steve eventually decided to move to a farm where Esther would have the space to do her piggy thang, and they turned the farm into an animal sanctuary to help other rescued farm animals. This book is all about the trials and tribulations of setting up the sanctuary, the adventures of their animal residents, and the wonderpig who started the whole thing. This book is funny in places, sad in places, but ultimately heartwarming and hopeful. I love it, and Esther, to pieces.


Twelve Nights by Andrew Zurcher

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I’m waiting until December to read this one because it’s set around Christmastime. It’s a middle grade novel about a girl whose father goes missing on Christmas Eve, and it’s all about the mysterious, magical, dreamlike adventure she goes on to find him. It’s recommended for fans of Philip Pullman and CS Lewis, so it sounds like it’s going to be really cosy and whimsical and I can’t wait to curl up with it, a cup of tea, and a ginormous mince pie, later this year.


Sadie by Courtney Summers

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I downloaded the audiobook of Sadie because I’ve heard amazing things. about it. Part of this novel is told in the format of a podcast, and apparently this element is done really well in the audiobook. with a full cast, sound effects, etc. I was going to listen to this in October but I didn’t get round to it. I’m taking a break from dark reads right now because I read tons of them during the Halloweeny season, but I’m excited to pick this one up soon.


The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas

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I listened to the audiobook of this YA thriller in October, and it was very entertaining, but not super memorable. It’s about a girl who is investigating the deaths of five cheerleaders from her town (one of whom was her sister) who all died in different circumstances within the same month, because she believes their deaths might be connected. It kinda gave me Pretty Little Liars vibes, but without the utterly ridiculous ending (although THAT was certainly memorable!)


The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

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I picked this one up for £1.99 in a charity shop, and it sounds really warm and sweet. It’s about a woman who moves from Sweden to a small town in the US and opens the town’s first bookstore. It’s a quirky book about books, and that’s my jam, so I was super pleased to find it.


So that’s all of the books I acquired in October! Have you read any of these? What did you think of them? And which one should I pick up next?! Hopefully I will be back again shortly with a book tag, and maybe even a review or two! 😊 See you soon! xxx